Mecklenburg Co. Sheriff’s Office dispels social media chatter of inmate mistreatment

Mecklenburg Co. Sheriff’s Office dispels social media chatter of inmate mistreatment
(Source: Gray News, file)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden addressed what he calls “misleading information” in regard to social media posts about the mistreatment of inmates at the detention center.

In recent weeks, a group of jail supporters has been rallying outside of the jail, and at times, got into disputes with deputies.

McFadden said that jail staff is “doing everything possible to keep your family and friends safe who are housed in the Mecklenburg County Detention facilities.”

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, protocols were established to keep all residents safe inside each of our facilities.

“I will do whatever is necessary to eradicate this virus from spreading to more residents or staff,” McFadden said. “Fear-mongering using social media only serves to spread false information which is counter to everything I am committed to doing for the residents I am responsible for safeguarding.”

Deputies call claims of late meals are inaccurate, as well as other disregard for inmates’ safety.

“Daily hot meal service continues three times a day,” a Mecklenburg County spokesperson said. “The primary change requires that residents now eat their meals inside of their individual cells as opposed to eating in the common area to ensure safe social distancing.”

The sheriff’s office said medication continues to be delivered to the residents as they need, no matter their conditions.

“Medication passes are conducted four times daily to residents in the housing units,” McFadden said. “All emergent, mental health, chronic care and sick calls are conducted by the medical providers in the housing unit to limit the movement of residents.”

Deputies said masks are provided to all inmates to wear outside of cells.

Last week, there was a reported outbreak at the jail as 43 inmates tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office has made modifications to its recreational schedule to ensure that all residents are being provided with adequate time to make phone calls, conduct visits, submit commissary orders, enter sick call requests and watch television.

Also, in the jail, mass testing is conducted, as well as isolation for new residents.

“Sheriff McFadden’s priority since the beginning of this pandemic has been to mitigate the introduction of COVID-19 into our detention facilities,” a spokesperson said. “In light of asymptomatic cases on the rise, MCSO has decided to conduct mass testing in our quarantine/isolation housing units and, as a result, we recently experienced several residents testing positive, which in turn requires swift and immediate action.”

The measures implemented to limit the number of residents in the common area of a housing unit are intended to reduce the spread of the virus. Sheriff McFadden states,

“I will do whatever is necessary to eradicate this virus from spreading to more residents or staff,” McFadden said. “Fear mongering using social media only serves to spread false information which is counter to everything I am committed to doing for the residents I am responsible for safeguarding.”

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